The Stax Thread III
Mar 15, 2018 at 2:40 PM Post #14,656 of 21,411

Pahani

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With the L300 on the SRM-323S I listen at about 2.5 nominally, 3 MAX.

Yup, I listen to my Stax at 3 on my 353X.

My X-00's I listen to at a bit less than 9 O'clock on my Jotunheim (high gain).

On both, for quick 1-song rock out sessions. the volume knob goes to 50%.
 
Mar 15, 2018 at 2:46 PM Post #14,657 of 21,411
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This is certainly a problem of measurement too. 85dB how? At what specific frequency, or range of frequencies? If the latter, what weighting? Headphones on the head can create some very nasty LARGE peaks from resonances, in the treble region. And aren't the high-frequency hairs much more delicate and easy to damage than for lower frequencies? That can't be good for hearing, even if the 1kHz volume is at a reasonable level.

Stax are relatively free of those nasty peaks.
 
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Mar 15, 2018 at 3:31 PM Post #14,659 of 21,411

buzzlulu

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Well - on 300 Anniversary edition news - Elusive Disc has just changed their estimated delivery date again. It now reads July.
 
Mar 15, 2018 at 3:57 PM Post #14,660 of 21,411

givemetacos

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How exactly is 85Db from loudspeakers compare to headphones ? I would like to know more

@Whitigir 85db are 85db, doesn't matter if from a headphone, a speaker or a car, the safe amount of time exposure is the same because the loudness is the same.

So that is true, but it is the MEASURING of SPL with headphones that is quite tricky and presents many challenges. There is always going to be some uncertainty and error. The way I personally do it is I use a cheap sound level meter ($20) and have a cardboard plate with a hole poked in the center to stick the measuring mic through. I then push this up inside the earpad against the driver to measure. This is the best I can do for an approximation. These cheap sound level meters will typically have +/-1.5 dB calibration accuracy, but measuring from the headphones doesn't represent the exact seal that you get when on your head or the same type of reflections. Plus the distance of the mic from the driver is different than your ear drum to the driver. Also, music is dynamic and constantly changing. Even the types of music have huge variations in dynamic swings. For instance, classical music might have a lower average SPL, but have higher max peaks for shorter periods of time. It isn't uncommon for max peaks to hit over 100dB instantaneously, but as long as that isn't under long, repeated exposures, quick max peaks like that could be ok.

For my own personal peace of mind, I just try and play it safe as possible. I typically try to jam my measuring meter as close to the driver as possible to get as high of a reading as possible. I then monitor my typical type of music selection and try and keep volume levels such that average SPL is around 70-80 dB with occasional, infrequent peaks in the 90+ dB range. Keep in mind that recommended safety levels is a general guideline and there's just not going to be a perfect practice to assure you are doing it "right". So I just assume my measuring might be off by like 5-10 dB and give myself that buffer. I also try to consciously take breaks every hour or so during longer listening sessions.

Regarding dBA vs dBC, using a dBA meter is fine for music and headphones. It is weighted that way to account for the manner in which our ears respond to lower frequencies and the safety organizations (e.g. NIOSH) that give guidelines (e.g. staying under 85dB) are giving those guidelines based on dBA levels. Worrying about dBC is more of a concern if you are working in industrial settings that use heavy machinery with primarily low frequency noise exposure.
 
Mar 15, 2018 at 4:09 PM Post #14,661 of 21,411

Whitigir

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Here is a pretty simple guideline that you can use your own judgements

http://www.noisehelp.com/noise-level-chart.html

The 85-90db would sound like a Snow Blower or Lawn Mower, and this is going to be hearing damaging if exposed for long term.

If you have a habit of going to the range without muffler, I guess your hearings have been pretty out of wack LOL ! My uncle does that, but his hobby is gun and how they sound, not headphones or music
 
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Mar 15, 2018 at 4:31 PM Post #14,663 of 21,411

Pokemonn

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maybe future headphone or loudspeaker systems will be computerized and have noise dosimeter build in and automaticaliy limit the SPL.
so in near future that issue will be solved imo. just simple computerized contoroled variable resister input limiter will work.
 
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Mar 15, 2018 at 5:33 PM Post #14,664 of 21,411

statfi

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I would argue that low distortion headphones like Stax ENHANCE the probability of hearing damage because it means you are able to tolerate higher volumes without fatigue and not realize how high your volume levels may be.
I'm in this camp, maybe because "first impressions are the best". In the '80's I heard my first pair of Stax in an audio store. The salesman commented "be careful, they can make your ears bleed" with an explanation to the effect that your intuition as to how loud they are will be wrong because loudness in this case doesn't correlate with distortion as it typically does for audio systems.
Does anyone know of a good source untangling RMS from peak power for damaging hearing? It strikes me that getting the data to answer this question could be quite inhumane.
 
Mar 15, 2018 at 10:36 PM Post #14,666 of 21,411

AudioThief

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I am so grateful for STAX!

Throughout my headphone journey I have tried many headphones, but it wasn't until I heard Stax I knew I had find my personal "true sound". I put a lot of money down on my current rig (007mk1 & 727ii) but my gosh it sounds incredible. I've just been sitting here drinking beer and going through my favorite "hi fidelity" music and it really is quite the experience. I think that if I had to "settle" for dynamic headphones I would be ultimately disappointed with my journey into expensive headphones. With Stax? No chance!

I would also like to comment on how REMARKABLE the SRS 3100 system is. While the 007 & 727 is better in every way, the differences are ultimately quite small - obviously in head fi land every small difference has a huge impact on our joy of listening, but you get my point - L300 is just such an awesome headphone. If it werent for my addictive personality, I would stop at L300 and never look back. They do lack soundstage but other than that its hard to complain. I really want to hear a pair of L700s, those must be some remarkable cans.
 
Mar 15, 2018 at 11:02 PM Post #14,667 of 21,411

ahmedie

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I never bought any headphones (only under 100$) in my life as I am speaker guys. All dynamic headphones sound rather inferior to monitors in term of imaging / sound stage / engagement so I never bothered. Until I heard stax and it was rather emotional and show me a new dimension of sound ! I mean really you fundamentally hear new sound representation you never thought possible with human ears, that stax sounds extends to music for very emotional and engaging experience.
 
Mar 16, 2018 at 9:00 PM Post #14,668 of 21,411

AudioThief

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So lately I went from listening from my desktop PC, to my laptop PC. Everything else was the same, and logically there should not be a difference in the sound, but I felt the sound was a bit harder from my laptop than desktop - but a tad more detail overall.

I downloaded fresh drivers and ASIO4ALL, but it didn't help. I tried switching between tidal and spotify which I could easily hear the difference between on my desktop, but they were indistinguishable on my laptop... I turned off the same volume thingy on spotify.. Nope, nothing.

So I downloaded fidelify, some sort of spotify replacement app, and just using directsound or wasapi I can hear now clearly that the depth is back into my music. Soundstage is wider, highs less shrill. I guess it was a driver issue of sorts. I'm not sure exactly what fidelify does, other than it claims to get "bit perfect" streaming to my pc.

I don't really care, it worked :D
 
Mar 16, 2018 at 10:47 PM Post #14,669 of 21,411

VRacer-111

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I never bought any headphones (only under 100$) in my life as I am speaker guys. All dynamic headphones sound rather inferior to monitors in term of imaging / sound stage / engagement so I never bothered. Until I heard stax and it was rather emotional and show me a new dimension of sound ! I mean really you fundamentally hear new sound representation you never thought possible with human ears, that stax sounds extends to music for very emotional and engaging experience.

Maybe this headphone amp for helping dynamic headphones?

9999-04541-2.jpg


Been on my want to get list for a while...
 
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